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For Immediate Release: 2 March 2022

IPCC Climate Impacts Report Must be a Rallying Cry Against False Solutions 

New York – Monday’s release of the UN Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change Working Group report, Climate Change 2022: Impacts, Adaptation and Vulnerability, should be read as a condemnation of false solutions to climate change designed to maintain business as usual in the face of catastrophic impacts from climate change enabled by those false solutions.

The report explains:

“Increased heatwaves, droughts and floods are already exceeding plants’ and animals’ tolerance thresholds, driving mass mortalities in species such as trees and corals. These weather extremes are occurring simultaneously, causing cascading impacts that are increasingly difficult to manage. They have exposed millions of people to acute food and water insecurity, especially in Africa, Asia, Central and South America, on Small Islands and in the Arctic.

“To avoid mounting loss of life, biodiversity and infrastructure, ambitious, accelerated action is required to adapt to climate change, at the same time as making rapid, deep cuts in greenhouse gas emissions. So far, progress on adaptation is uneven and there are increasing gaps between action taken and what is needed to deal with the increasing risks, the new report finds. These gaps are largest among lower-income populations.”

Annual UN Climate Conferences routinely avoid any legal commitments to real, measurable and impactful cuts in greenhouse gas emissions, preferring instead to focus on voluntary targets.  These voluntary measures are heavily focused on ways to “offset” rather than reduce emissions, even though such offsets have no valid scientific evidence of effectively stabilizing atmospheric carbon.  This “profits first” strategy has led to skyrocketing emissions increases since the UN Climate Conferences began more than 25 years ago.

The fossil fuel industry has shown no signs of accepting responsibility for its role in the rising crisis. Today, in fact, along with spiking fuel prices, companies are mounting calls to increase oil and gas drilling as a supposed buffer against the impacts of war in Ukraine; itself linked to a growing global demand for a resource base rapidly shrinking due both to overconsumption by Northern countries and global elites, as well as climate-change induced natural disasters. 

“The cynicism of some of the actors creating schemes to profit from fake climate mitigation schemes is grotesque,” said Anne Petermann, Executive Director of Global Justice Ecology Project. “In the US, for example, companies are trying to ‘green’ inherently unsustainable single occupant vehicles. Instead of relying on fossil fuels, these ‘green’ cars run on lithium-powered batteries that destroy the lands, water and lifeways of Indigenous and rural communities, while the cars themselves take just as much energy to manufacture as their gas guzzling cousins. They are also developing extreme and unproven technologies aimed at replacing nature with ‘climate-friendly’ facsimiles. Instead of protecting climate-stabilizing wild forests, for example, companies want to replace them with vast plantations of genetically engineered trees specially designed to make money as carbon offsets at the expense of forests, biodiversity, water, local communities and the climate.”

But people are mobilizing against this deadly paradigm. In Chile, a People’s Uprising that rocked the country for several months in 2019 and 2020 led to a process to replace the country’s Pinochet-era constitution with a new one focused on principles of social and ecological justice. The process to create this new constitution includes a diverse cross-section of constituencies elected by the populace, and is led by an Indigenous Mapuche woman. This type of bottom up organizing is pushing back on national and international climate strategies focused on dangerous false solutions, as well as those interests promoting them. 

It is critical we actively oppose the madness of the fantastical efforts of some to experiment on our planet using unproven and extreme technologies in a last ditch effort to prop up the unjust system that has driven us to the brink of social and ecological catastrophe.

For more information contact Steve Taylor:

steve@globaljusticeecology.org

+1.314.210.1322

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